Halyard sets record for quietest vessel

Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Brosnan press the button to smash the bubbly on the bow Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Brosnan press the button to smash the bubbly on the bow

Halyard (M& I) says it has produced the quietest boat in its 27 year history. Song of the Whale is the International Fund for Animal Welfare' s (IFAW) new 70ft yacht.

The boat was launched last month by James Bond actor, Pierce Brosnan and his wife, Keeley Shaye Brosnan. Both are committed environmentalists and IFAW supporters Designed by Simon Rogers and built by Blondecell in Southampton, the £1.5 million vessel will be used for public education and for marine research, detecting and tracking whales using sophisticated acoustic surveys.

To minimise disturbance to marine life, and to avoid interference with the sensitive hydrophone arrays being used on board, Halyard says it is vital for the 21-metre vessel to be quiet and vibration free.

So Halyard has been involved right from the design concept stage, which enabled the company to be involved in key areas, such as helping design the shape of the engine room to minimise noise.

"A normal vessel with this type of construction and engine and generator set would create noise levels of around 80 dB(A) at the helm, so we have effectively reduced the noise levels on board by more than 90%, " said Hugh Cunningham, UK sales manager at Halyard.

Exhaust noise was minimised using a specially designed Halyard silencing and water separator system. To reduce airborne noise, the engine bay was lined with a triple layer of special noise absorption material, faced with Maritex.

As the engine room had been specifically designed to be easy to sound proof, this was particularly effective.

Halyard says on a steel hulled vessel such as Song of the Whale, structure borne noise can cause up to 80% of total noise and Halyard's Aquadrive and soft engine mounting system greatly reduced this to a point where there was, subjectively, very little vibration, resulting in minimal structure borne noise.

Blondecell and Halyard worked closely together to minimise noise at every stage of the design and build.

Warwick Buckley, Blondecell's technical manager, praised the attention to detail shown by Halyard.

"The company went to great lengths to minimise noise at every opportunity, " he said.

"For example, the exhaust riser is designed to be supported from the engine feet and not connected to the floor of the bridge deck. Had that been the case, it would have caused vibration and added to the noise. This way, any noise or vibration has been eliminated."

Halyard commissioned the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, Britain's top specialists, to evaluate the performance of the vessel under typical operating conditions. The readings on deck, with the 350 hp Yanmar engine running at 2,300 rpm, showed the noise level at 62 dB(A).

In addition to working to meet IFAW's requirements for a quiet boat, the vessel also comes under the stringent requirements of Lloyd's and the MCA Brown Code.

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